In an increasingly competitive market for cloud computing, reliability matters, and Microsoft has some work to do.

Data compiled by Gartner and Krystallize Technologies shows a noticeable gap between Microsoft Azure and the other two big cloud providers when looking at cloud uptime in North America during 2018. According to Gartner, last year Amazon Web Services and Google had nearly identical uptime statistics for the virtual machines at the heart of cloud services — 99.9987 percent and 99.9982 percent, respectively — while Azure trailed by a small but significant amount, at 99.9792 percent.

Microsoft Data Center

“Azure has had significant downtime, not just in 2018, but even the first three months of 2019 have been not good for Microsoft,” said Raj Bala, an analyst with Gartner who compiled the data.

As Microsoft courts developers this week at Build with an array of new services, it has also making been making changes behind the scenes to improve Azure reliability, said Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure CTO, in an interview this week with GeekWire. He plans to showcase a few of those improvements during his annual Azure architecture keynote on Wednesday, but also defended the company’s track record when dealing with planned and unplanned disruptions to cloud service.




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